A cyclist rides past the 50th parallel in Campbell River. Go By Bike Week will be held from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4 this year. Photo courtesy City of Campbell River.

Campbell River’s Go By Bike Week takes on urban adventuring

People encouraged to get out and explore the city by bike

Campbell River is getting ready for the 2020 edition of Go By Bike week, but things are going to be a little bit different this year.

This year, the event will be held from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4. The city has taken part in the annual celebration of bicycle commuting for over 10 years. Participants are used to celebration stations set up along popular routes, and events like barbecues and pizza parties to help celebrate the week-long event. This year, the city of Campbell River is encouraging people to get out and explore their urban backyards.

“We’re calling it Urban Adventures,” said Linda Nagle, a program director from the recreation and culture department. “Now we are encouraging people to indulge in an urban adventure. We’re encouraging people to get out in the community. We’ll be suggesting some potential urban adventures that people could take. People can make up their own or they can go anywhere they like. We’ve got a great community for cycling.”

People may remember the event as Bike to Work Week, however organizers have decided to focus on people using bikes for all of their transportation needs. The ultimate goal is to show people that cycling is a viable way to get around, and to reduce the dependence on cars for general transportation. Nagle explained that the Urban Adventures theme helps with that.

“We want to get people out more, show them what routes are available and it’s a big tourism draw to be able to cycle here. Last year we did surveys during Go By Bike Week, and the main reason that people cycled were our beautiful scenery and to be out with friends, the social aspect of it.”

Participants will be automatically entered in a draw for one of 11 prizes, including gift cards to Pedal Your World bike shop, month-long bus passes and other prizes from local businesses.

“If you cycle even once during that week and register on our Go By Bike Campbell River website and log your ride, you’ll be automatically entered into one of 11 draw prizes now,” Nagle explained. “You don’t have to do anything except ride and log your ride.”

While no celebration stations are planned due to the pandemic, one major event will be taking place on October 3. The city has partnered with the Greenways Loop to promote the trail, and will be asking people to go out on a ride of the trail sometime during the day. Riders who take photos of themselves on the trail dressed in green will be entered to win either a basket of local goodies or an e-bike tour of Quadra Island for two.

The loop is approximately 25 km long, but has sections that are accessible for families looking for a shorter ride.

“We’re going to encourage people to ride the loop or part of the loop,” Nagle said. “There are bits that are just ideal for families, and to do the whole loop is a little bit more adventurous.”

In 2019, 174 riders had registered for the event, making 776 trips. The riders travelled 28,744 km and saved around 6,320 kg of greenhouse gases. Nagle is hopeful that even more people come out this year and enjoy the cycling the Campbell River has to offer.

People can sign up at gobybikebc.ca/campbell-river. Instructions on how to log rides are available at the website.

RELATED: Campbell River sees COVID-19 cycling boom

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